Egypt: Government Closes Human Rights Center
In response to the Egyptian government’s order closing the Nadeem Center for the Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence and Torture on February 9, as part of the tightening restrictions on civil society, Freedom House issued the following statement:
“By physically sealing the doorway of the Nadeem Center, Egyptian authorities are preventing victims of torture from accessing the essential medical and psychological support that the Center has provided for 20 years,” said Dokhi Fassihian, senior program manager for Middle East and North Africa programs. “With tens of thousands of people now jailed on the flimsiest of charges for alleged threats to the government, authorities are demonstrating the lengths they will go to cripple civil society.”
The forced closure of the Nadeem Center came a year after the organization was first ordered closed for violations of unspecified laws. The closed occurred despite a pending court appeal. Egyptian civil society has faced increasing restrictions on its work, including a law passed by Parliament in November eliminating the ability for NGOs to operate without close government oversight.
Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.